I’m going to talk about one of the best experiences in my life. Something I have been looking forward to do since 2008/2009. This day last year I attended MY FIRST CONCERT EVER. And it was the concert of one my favourite artists; it was the concert of MY IDOL, MILEY CYRUS. I WENT TO HER BANGERZ TOUR SHOW IN THE O2 ARENA, LONDON, THE 6TH OF MAY OF 2014. AND IT WAS JUST ONE OF THE BEST NIGHTS OF MY LIFE. A FULFILLED DREAM! I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT HAPPENED! I INVITE YOU TO READ MY EXPERIENCE!
I decided to attend her concert a few months after she announced her Bangerz Tour European dates. It was not an easy decision, due to two main factors:
1) The nearest venue to my house with a Bangerz Tour show was The O2, in London. I don’t live in London; I had to get a bus, a train and a tube to get to the arena.
2) I had to pay the tickets for the concert and for the transport to the arena with my own money. The tickets for the concert were around 60 pounds, which is expensive to me. The travelcard for the train and tube costed 20 pounds, and then I needed more pocket money for other expenditures such as meals and merchandise.
However, after thinking and thinking, I said “yes” to attend the tour. Miley is like my top celebrity, I have loved her since Hannah Montana. I have always dreamt with watching her sing live. And the Bangerz Tour seemed like a perfect option, because I love the album Bangerz. Moreover, everyone that had gone to the Bangerz Tour’s shows in North America had tweeted about how good Miley was live and how much fun the concert was. So, why not? Yeah, the O2 Arena was far away from my home, but nothing is easy in life. And I could afford the tickets and transport, since I work. I could continue saving for university after the concert. One night, is one night. Who knew if I’ll ever have an opportunity to see Miley again? Some opportunities are there to grasp them, not to let them go.
Another argument in favour of me attending the Bangerz Tour show in London was that the date was going to be the Tuesday 6th of May: the week of my 18th birthday (my birthday is the 9th of May). I didn’t have any other plans to celebrate my birthday that week. I have hardly any friends where I live; there majority of my friends live far far away. Therefore I thought that seeing Miley would add some fun and a special touch to my 18th birthday. Even if the show wasn’t going to be the exact day of my birthday, it would be equally good.
So this is how and why I ended up buying tickets for Miley’s Bangerz Tour show in London. After buying the tickets a long wait of months and months came.
In April 2014, various horrible things happened: Miley’s dog, Floyd, died. Though she didn’t cancel her shows due to this, she was very sad. And it broke my heart thinking that the first time I would see my idol live, she would be crying and miserable. Another bad thing that happened in April is that Miley fell very ill. She had the flu and a sinus infection; she had to postpone some of her last USA tour dates. And when she was supposed to be back, she was rushed to the hospital due to an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. Damn. She had to postpone all the USA tour dates she had left, as well as two tour dates in Europe. As you can read, April was not Miley’s month.
I was very worried about her and her health during the whole April. But I was also worried about her cancelling the show in London. It may sound selfish, but if she cancelled the show, I would be terribly upset. But not with her; with the whole situation. I would have blamed God, destiny, life… Everything. Thanks to God, Miley’s condition improved and she didn’t cancel her London tour date, which is why the 6th of May at midday, I was in a train towards London. The journey to the O2 was quick and easy. While it was my first time moving around London alone, I didn’t have any trouble.
When I arrived to the O2, the first thing I did was buying merchandise of the Bangerz Tour. I first bought the tour book, and then I bought two t-shirts (one with “Marry Me Miley” on it, and another one with the European tour locations), a keyring and a set of six pins. After buying the merchandise, I sat down in a corner, and waited. I spent 5 hours in the O2 doing nothing but going to the toilet, eating and writing. During those 5 hours, the fact that I was going to see Miley started to sink in, and I started to feel overwhelmed. To calm down, I wrote part of a song in my notebook, and then I wrote a letter addressed to Miley. I knew that Miley will never read the letter, but writing it made me relax.
The merchandise stands.
The Entrance to the arena.
Some of the merchanside I bought.
The pins I bought.
At 19:00, the moment of the truth came: I was waiting anxiously on my door of entrance to the arena. I had passed successfully the security check, I had showed my ticket, and I had run up the stairs to those doors, impatiently. From outside, I could see the characteristic balloons used as decoration for the shows in USA. I was excited. When the door opened, everyone ran inside, me included. Although I didn’t have standing tickets, my seat was very decent (Level 1, block 102, row P, seat 56). I was in perfect angle to see all the movements in the stage. I was happy, because I wouldn’t have to struggle to see Miley, and my sight wouldn’t be blocked by anyone.
The arena when I entered.
Little by little, the arena started to fill with people and my anxiety was real. I wanted to tweet or send messages about the whole situation, but I didn’t have connection inside the arena. All I did was wait patiently…. Till the lights went off and the sound of musical instruments started to play… And when the light came on again, Miley’s open act, Sky Ferreira, was on stage.
Sky played a few songs, and she set a pretty good environment in the arena. I already knew she was the open act for Bangerz tour, but I had never before listened to her music. Fortunately, I liked all the songs she played. My favourite one was “I Blame Myself”. Overall, despite her voice couldn’t be heard sometimes (I attribute this to her microphone), I liked Sky’s set. She is a gorgeous and talented girl, and she did a good job as open act.
After Sky left the stage, the normal lights of the arena were switched on to be switched off again a few minutes after. The arena went mad, and everyone started to shout with excitement (including myself). And Miley’s entrance number began. Her robotic face in giant dimensions climbed up the big screen of the arena, while her song SMS (Bangerz) began to play. I was very focused recording the whole scene, so till I heard someone saying “Its Miley, there, AWWW!!!!” I didn’t realise the actual Miley was on the small screens of the arena waving. Not her electronic version; her. She WAS THERE WAVING FROM BACKSTAGE. I STARTED TO TREMBLE AND SHOUT, WHILE SHE WAVED WITH A RADIANT SMILE. AND THEN, SHE WENT DOWN THE TONGUE SHAPED SLIDE, AND FINALLY SHE WAS IN THE STAGE SHOUTING AND SAYING “I AM BACK MOTHERFUCKERS”! AND EVERYONE WENT MAD AND CRAZY! AND THE BANGERZ SHOW IN LONDON BEGAN.
Miley’s entrance number.
Miley’s first song set was formed by SMS (Bangerz) and 4×4. She used her dancers and choreography to perform both songs. Although, I don’t like SMS (Bangerz) a lot, while she was performing it, I was dancing and singing like if that song were my anthem. I don’t know, I couldn’t help it; the euphoria took over my body and mind. The same happened during 4×4! The whole arena went mad, singing and dancing along with the music. The performance of 4×4 (as well as the song) reminded me of Hoedown Throedown; but just a crazier version with a bit of hip hop influence. Hence, I loved it! Now I just need to learn the dance.
The second set of songs was formed by Love Party Money, My Darlin and Maybe You Are Right. The first song was Love Party Money, and the entrance number was so damn cool! I adore it. Miley appeared on top of a golden coloured car, surrounded by her dancers. Then, the car went down the stage slowly, while Miley sang and moved. Everyone in the audience yelled, with all their power and enthusiasm, during the chorus (LOVE PARTY MONEY) repeatedly. I also did that. I don’t like singing and talking in public, but who cared? I was in the concert of my idol. Keeping my mouth shut would have been a sin. I must admit that Love Party Money was one of my less favourite songs in Bangerz before the concert. But after the concert, it is stuck in my head and I’m in love with it!
After Love Party Money, Miley did a speech on her hospital experience (as I said before, she had to postpone tour dates due to a sinus infection and due to an allergic reaction to antibiotics). The speech was hilarious, Miley is a comical person, and she wouldn’t stop talking! Nevertheless I would never get tired of hearing her voice, so I was very happy with that. During the speech, she also slammed rumours about her being in hospital due to drug abuse.
Then, it was My Darlin’s turn. The arena went dark, and various people used their mobiles as beautiful shiny lights. The environment was perfect for the emotional ballad that My Darlin is. I have been very fond in this song since Bangerz was released, so listening to it live was wonderful.
Lastly in this set, it was Maybe You Are Right. This is my favourite song in Bangerz, so I was very ready for it and I had high hopes about it! I don’t really know why this is my favourite song; it doesn’t have the best lyrics and the best melody, but right now in my life, I can relate to it. Thus I can’t stop listening to it. And when Miley sang it, it felt like heaven. Moreover, everyone knew the chorus very well, and it isn’t even a single or a hit song! While performing this song, Miley was given a jacket as a present from someone in the audience. She looked so happy with it. I kinda wish I had a standing ticket, so I could have had the chance of seeing her near and even touching her. But on the other hand, there were too many people in the floor, and I would have felt overwhelmed.
The third set of songs was formed by FU and Do My Thang. FU is my second favourite song from Bangerz! It is an ideal song when someone betrays you. After a period of sadness, the best thing you can do is think “I don’t need disloyal people in my life. F*** them!”. And FU just has that attitude. The chorus gives me life, and I couldn’t help but leaving my voice when singing it while Miley performed it! FU was my favourite performance of the night, without doubt. However, Miley had some outfit trouble during this performance. She came out at the beginning of the song without the characteristic skirt she normally uses, and her outfit wasn’t correctly tied. She had to stop, and wait for her mum to help her. Anyways, despite this small incident, FU slayed me so hard!
The next song, Do My Thang, was so enjoyable! Instead of singing the album version, Miley sang the country version. I prefer the country version, so it was so much fun! I danced a lot during this song! I love how Miley moves in stage with her dancers. She is an unpredictable performer who focuses more on having fun, than in a perfect choreography. And I like that, because it makes the whole environment amusing and weird (weird in a good way of course)!
The fourth set was just one song: Can’t Be Tamed! Can’t Be Tamed featured in one of Miley’s old albums, Can’t Be Tamed. Sadly, the album didn’t receive its deserved attention, despite being beautiful. But it was the beginning of Miley’s transition of leaving her Disney star image to having an actual pop star image.
I like the song Can’t Be Tamed a lot, it motivates me to be who I am and to care less about others opinion. As the title of the song states, it encourages me to not be tamed and designed by family.
Another reason why listening to this song live was great, is because when the song was first released, I never imagined I would see Miley singing it live one day! But in that moment, I was seeing her! That performance was the living proof of the fact that dreams can come true.
Another thing to highlight about Can’t Be Tamed’s performance is that there was a giant figure of Miley’s dog, Floyd. She had it from the beginning of the whole tour, and the day after Floyd died, she was crying while hugging the giant figure. I watched the video, and my heart broke. I’m glad she didn’t cry this time, because I wouldn’t have been able to take it.
The fifth set was formed by Adore You and Drive. During Adore You, there was a kiss cam on the big screen of the arena! Miley encouraged the audience to kiss with the person near them, and it was so much fun. Besides, she encouraged boys to kiss boys, and girls to kiss girls. Miley has always been an advocate for the LGBT community’s rights, and her speech on how homosexual and bisexual people need to leave behind their fears and be confident about their sexuality was very inspirational. The whole arena supported her, by cheering very hard when people from the same genre where captured making out in the kiss cam.
Drive was also a very intense performance; Miley dedicated the song to Floyd (her dog that died) because it was his birthday the day before. Before singing, Miley did a small talk on how important is love in life, and how she was deeply affected by losing the love of her life. I thought she was talking about Liam Hermsworth, his ex fiancé, but it turned out she was talking about Floyd again. However, I believe that she is also heartbroken by the rupture with Liam, and when she sings heartbreaking ballads such as Drive, I believe that she thinks about him.
During this performance, the arena went even darker than during My Darlin, and Miley asked the public to light up the place with their mobile phones. It was a very beautiful and emotional performance.
The sixth set was performed in the small acoustic stage, and it was formed by covers of songs from other artists. Miley covered some songs she has been covering for a while: Why’D You Only Call Me When You Are High from Arctic Monkeys, You Are Going To Make Me Lonesome When You Go from Bob Dylan, Summertime Sadness from Lana del Rey, and Jolene from Dolly Parton. This set also included a song from her album Bangerz, Rooting For My Baby. I loved this acoustic set, because Miley’s voice for acoustic music is just perfect. Moreover, I was familiar with her covers You Are Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go and Jolene, because she sang them in her Backyard Sessions of 2012, and I loved them. My favourite cover she did was Summertime Sadness; she sang it so well! Her voice for acoustic music is just her best voice. Being there listening to her felt like glory.
The seventh set of songs was formed by Get It Right and Someone Else. Get It Right is a catchy song, not from my favourite ones of the album. The performance was fine, funny and entertaining, but it was not from my favourite ones of the nights. I liked how the whole performance was planned; Miley on a bed playing around with her dancers.Itt had a very original and creative touch. But on the other hand, it didn’t make me feel anything special, in contrary to other performances.
With Someone Else, I had a similar feeling. The song has a robotic melody, and I don’t like robotic melodies. However, I do like the lyrics of the song: the bridge is a killer. It describes love in all its forms, and it couldn’t be more accurate. Hence I sang the bridge so hard! I thought my lungs would end up coming out of my mouth through my throat! In addition, when Miley was singing the bridge of the song, she was riding a giant hot dog flying over the stage. It was so damn cool! A part of me was scared for her security, but the other part was amazed. During the last seconds of Someone Else, Miley said goodbye, and pretended that the show had finished. If it wasn’t because she did the same in her USA concerts, I would have believed her.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the arena at the beginning of her eight set. I couldn’t watch her last performances, which I believe that they were We Can’t Stop, Wrecking Ball and Party In The USA. I didn’t want to leave, but it was nearly 23:00, and I had to take the tube and then the train back home (remember that I live an hour away from London).
To be honest, I didn’t feel terribly bad when leaving The O2: I was very happy because I had finally seen my idol live. I don’t know if you know how it feels realising that the person who inspires you and brightens your days very often is real and is near you. It is a weird feeling that makes you emotional but also joyful. And I experienced that the night of the concert.
Also, I kinda see things about my life in a different way after the concert. No jokes or exaggeration. I’m so glad I went. Seeing Miley doing what she likes made my self-confidence grow a lot. She has always made my self-confidence grow, which is why I consider her an inspiration. And her speech on love made me reflect on my life, since love is one of those things in my life I lack from a bit.
Overall, the Bangerz tour concert was incredibly amazing. Literally with some of the reviews I out there, you would think the shows are just Miley being sexual and sticking her tongue out. But they aren’t! Bangerz tour has fun, vocals, dance, art, and talent. You can’t ask for more. You really can’t. It’s a show in which you can’t predict anything, and all you will do is have a crazy time and experience talent and emotions all the way through it. I can’t say that it is unique and original (even though I have never seen a similar tour, I may be wrong if I said it so) but I can say that it is creative and full of live. It is like if Miley’s favourite things had been put together in a creative, artistic, weird, and fun way for the designs of the Bangerz tour shows. She even worn a wide range of outfits for each set, some of them inspired by country style and others by hip hop style (most of them were shiny and/or made of bright colours). And in every song (except for the acoustic set and during Adore You), you could see creative edited videos on the giant screen of the arena; some of them were cartoons and others were edited photos of Miley’s photo shoots. That technique seemed original, and it was very well used for the empty spaces between the sets; the videos entertained people.
Miley is a good performer; she is energetic, funny, and she can put emotions when she needs to. Yeah, she swears a lot and some of her performances have sexual connotations; but is not even half as bad as media pictures it. If you have the opportunity to attend one of her Bangerz show, do it! If you are an extremely sensitive person, don’t. But if you love fun and emotions, go. Don’t waste that precious opportunity.
My way back home from the O2 arena was smooth and quick: I didn’t have to wait a lot to take the tube, nor to take the train. The only highlight was a conversation I heard whilst being on the train. There was a mother with her daughter of around 12 years, who was wearing a Bangerz Tour t-shirt (its assumable that they attended the concert). Two adult men were sitting in front of them, and they were asking the mother and the daughter how was the concert, as well as demonizing Miley a little bit. The conversation was not argumentative, but shade was thrown at Miley. All of the sudden, one of the men asked the mother how she allowed her kid to see Miley. The mother said, “The way I look at it is that her at this age she is watching Miley, and me at her age I was watching Madonna”. That response was SO GOOD! I wanted to clap, but I wasn’t even supposed to be listening. Sometimes, you would think that adults forget that they also had a controversial pop culture when they were kids and teens. It was nice hearing someone recalling this. Apart from that, nothing else happened on my way back and I got to home safe.
In conclusion: My Bangerz tour experience is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Miley made my birthday present a birthday party. And I’m thankful for that, because it was the only party I was going to have the week of my birthday. Furthermore, when seeing Miley live, one of my dreams was fulfilled. Now, all I can do is keep this night as a remarkable memory recorded in both my mind and my heart (apart from my camera of course).
Sharing one of my life experiences,
Emilie H. Featherington 🙂
(PS: You can check the full videos of the concernt on my Youtube account. Sorry for the bad quality of audio: